Tuesday, May 24, 2011

escape from snake island!

in southwest makedonia there are two huge beautiful bodies of fresh water, Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. for the last week and a half i've been situated in the city of Ohrid and yesterday i finally made a journey to see the sister lake to the east. we went to find a place called Golem Grad (or nicknamed 'snake island') which is a small island right on the border of albania, greece and makedonia. from what i've put together, the island was originally inhabited by orthodox monks who built a few monasteries many hundred years ago however they were overrun with snakes and forced to abandon. had to come check it out.

on the way we passed the remnants of a neolithic village in an area cleverly nicknamed 'the bay of bones'. this structure is actually a remake of the exact same structure beneath the surface of the water where once stood an old place of dwelling hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

this is one of several (absolutely delicious) mountain springs where fresh cold water comes from the ancient glaciers that once inhabited this land.

a small shrine to St. George i think. if you look at the top of the picture you can see the point where trees no longer grow. i believe this phenomenon occurs at 1850 meters or so.

Ohrid from above.

i dont remember the name of this tiny village but this is where we sailed from to get to Golem Grad.
Venko. Our captain.

right about here is the disputed border between makedonia and albania. there is something like a 300 meter area on land that is forbidden to set foot on. its considered international territory.. or no-mans-land. i believe the punishment at one time was very severe but we were set for an island that is undeniably part of makedonia.

Golem Grad. Snake island.

i didn't capture any good pictures of this but Golem Grad is one of the only places i've seen cormorants perched in trees rather than sea walls and rocks. i did however get some nice pictures of the thousands of pelicans that beach the shores of Golem Grad.

one of several abandoned monasteries. you can still light a candle.


this is a grave that probably belongs to the monks. below you can see human bones sticking out.


a video from Golem Grad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! this looks like so much fun. Venko seems like a total badass.